At CES and the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, Ford will show off its next generation navigation system, initially to be made available on the all-new Lincoln MKS. The system's 40GB hard drive will include the Gracenote database, which will automatically tag any CDs ripped to the drive, something Gracenote already does in the Cadillac CTS and Lexus LS 600h. But Gracenote goes an extra mile with Ford, providing cover art for music playing in the system. Users will be treated to a scan of the album cover art while tracks from the album play. Further, the system incorporates Gracenote'… Read more
Microsoft's product marketing tends to be fairly dull. Even inside the company, its methods for naming, marketing, and packaging have been the subject of scorn and derision.
So, that makes this commercial for its Sync in-car entertainment system all the more noteworthy.
The company illustrates the power of the system's voice controls, by showing what happens when you take those commands beyond the car.
It's a good approach to explaining a whole new type of technology--something that is often tough--just ask TiVo.
What do you think? Does it make you want to get the system, or does … Read more
As carmakers continue to integrate HD Radio into their models at the factory level, an increasing number of car-stereo makers including JVC, Sony, Dual, and Alpine have brought out HD-compatible aftermarket products over the past few months. Check out our roundup of the latest options for getting HD Radio while on the road.
Earlier this week, we told you how Mercedes-Benz had followed in the footsteps of its estranged partner, the Chrysler Group, by announcing a partnership with Hughes Telematics for all future models. At the time, Hughes confirmed that its service is scheduled to replace Mercedes' current Tele Aid system in late 2009 but declined to give any specifics on any of the features it would include. Well, thanks to the industrious gearheads over at Edmunds, we now have a clearer idea.
According to their report, the new telematics service will include all the emergency and roadside assistance features associated with GM'… Read more
Alpine's CDA-9885 joins Sony's CDX-520 and JVC's KD-HDR1 in the category of HD Radio-compatible car stereos. The in-dash system combines attractive styling and a easy-to-use music search interface with great-sounding output and a host of expandability options, but those upgrading to HD Radio will have to deal with a clunky module and a hefty price tag.
Click on the image to read our full review.
Two months after its parent company Ford said that it would be making HD Radio available on most of its models, Volvo announced that it will offer the technology as optional and standard equipment starting in fall 2008.
The Swedish auto maker said that HD Radio would be available for nearly its entire model lineup, including the S40 T5, V50 T5, C30, C70, S80, V70, XC70 and XC90 models. HD Radio (the HD stands for hybrid digital) bundles digital services with analog FM signals, providing clearer audio output, extra "multicast" (or "HD2") channels, and text information … Read more
Today, Toshiba announced an 80GB hard drive for automotive applications, doubling the capacity of current automotive hard drive offerings. Over the last year, we've seen an increasing number of cars with hard drive-based navigation and music servers, but the capacity topped out at 40GB, in the 2008 Cadillac CTS. An 80GB internal drive would likely reserve 10GB for map storage, leaving 70GB for music, video, and photos. The new 80GB automotive drive is 2.5 inches, similar in size to a laptop hard drive. Laptops have had drives well in excess of 100GB for some time now, but automotive … Read more
Microsoft and Ford bought a lot of advertisements on NFL football broadcasts over the four-day Thanksgiving weekend. The companies are pushing Sync, which is the latest outgrowth of Microsoft's decade-long effort to provide software for use in automobiles.
In this case, Microsoft might actually succeed. Simplicity is the key: unlike past scenarios floated for the Windows Automotive platform, Sync isn't intended to help control your car (leading to the inevitable blue screen jokes) or connect to the Internet or serve as the back-end for an in-car control panel. Instead, it gives you voice command over Bluetooth-enabled phones and … Read more
If you're one of those people who can't stand the constant "beep-beep" of horn-happy motorists, you might not want to read any further. A start-up called Horntones is giving drivers the opportunity to customize their own car horn's output by using any MP3 file as their honk of choice.
Using a combination of Horntones' Web site and the company's flagship FX550 device, drivers can download any audio file they like (copyright issues notwithstanding) to use as their car's horn sound. The FX550 comes with 256MB of memory and nine preset buttons, giving horn-pimpers … Read more
There is a lots of talk these days about computers in cars, but it mostly refers to the technology in the vehicle's drivetrain, GPS navigation device, or active safety systems. When are we going to see a real computer in the car, you ask: one that can browse the Web, edit Word docs, and perform all the functions of a desktop. Jensen has an answer to that question with the NVX3000PC, on show at SEMA 2007. The portable device has a 7-inch touch-screen display and comes with a Windows Vista operating system, a 30GB internal hard drive, an integrated … Read more